Monthly Archives: February 2019

Echo From The Cave: 103

Saturday February 16, 2019 NYC

Shri Mahayogi’s Words of Truth Resound in NY:
February 10th Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi

 

“FREEDOM”

Does not everyone seek for “freedom”? No matter what our situation or circumstance, we want to feel “free”! But what does it mean to be “free”?

In the United States in particular we are bombarded with the idea of “freedom”. It is one of the very founding ideals of the entire country. Since birth, we are presented with this ideal again and again. Here, we have “freedom”! Here, we protect our right to “be free”! The idea of “freedom” that is fed to us is the idea that we can say and do as we want, that we can “be” who we want to “be”. And along the way this idea transforms into one in which we strive to create a situation for ourselves where we are “free” to always enjoy, “free” to always get what we want and to have things be the way we want them to be, “free” to be rid of the responsibility we don’t want, and “free” to not have to answer to anyone but ourselves.

But what does it really mean to be free?

Surely, in order to seek freedom, we must do so from a state of bondage. So even though we may live in a country that is “free”, why do we still seek the feeling of “freedom” in our everyday situations? Certainly then, whether we realize it or not, we must be experiencing the state of non-freedom, or bondage. Because of that state, we must constantly arrange the conditions around us to feel that sense of freedom anew. But what is it that causes us to experience that non-freedom to begin with? And who is really the one who is experiencing it?

During the Sadhana Program last Sunday (2/10/19), an attendee who met Shri Mahayogi for the first time one week before, returned again to the class. This time, she came with a bouquet of 24 red roses and offered them to the Master at the end. She, who has been a long-time seeker in her heart, finally found a Master. Her mind had been occupied by her Guruji since then.

“Freedom”—on the packaging of the roses there was a sticker indicating the type of rose. Upon receiving the flowers, and seeing this word on the label, Shri Mahayogi, smiling fully, looked at her and with these beautiful red roses. He then taught thus:

 

Freedom—truly this Freedom is precisely the aim of Yoga. You must have always been doing many things in your desire to become Free. (Smiling) But, have you really attained true Freedom? The more you are entangled in this world, as opposed to with Freedom, the more bondage comes. But there is one thing I would like you to remember and take home with you:

That self or “I” that is bound is the mind and the body. And that is not the true Self. The true Self is the Consciousness that has simply seen all these experiences you have had. In fact, there is a Consciousness, the Pure Consciousness that is beyond even the depths of the mind. It is the Eternal Existence that is never destroyed or broken. It is the true Self within everyone. To know that, to experience this is the sole aim of Yoga. This Existence or this Consciousness is itself Freedom. And, there is neither bondage nor suffering in that Freedom at all. And it is filled with Bliss.

Today, you again trained to still your mind and body for some time through practicing asana and meditation for two hours. Your everyday life is too busy. At least for one hour, or even for 30 minutes a day, you should make quiet time—that is what you can do for yourself.

Okay, so then I will see you next week.”

—Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
February 10, 2019

 

 

Flowers arranged by Shri Mahayogi upon returning to the Cave

Let us take and consider these words of the Master. Let us give up the search for the small momentary sense of freedom that we are forever chasing in our daily circumstances and situations, and let us seek for true Freedom, that is filled with unchanging Bliss. As Shri Mahayogi said during the last Satsangha, let’s start one step at a time, simply by making that quiet time to train to still our mind an everyday habit.

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We invite you to attend the next Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi, this coming Sunday 2/17 from 3-5pm, and the last special Satsangha (Saturday 2/23) with Shri Mahayogi before he returns to Japan. All the remaining programs will be held at Still Mind Zendo.

Register for the Sadhana Program through Eventbrite
http://mym2019.eventbrite.com

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com

 

Echo From The Cave: 102

Friday February 9,

Shri Mahayogi’s Words of Truth Resound in NY:
Feburary 3rd Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi

Shri Mahayogi is visiting New York right now and directing the Sadhana Program (Asana & Meditation) each Sunday.

What is truly extraordinary and rather astounding about the asana practice that Shri Mahayogi bestows upon us is that it is coming directly from his own experience. It is indeed hatha yoga, and at first glance, it is easy to think that it is just ordinary hatha yoga. But is it really so? As we begin to practice and experience, we start to get the sense more and more clearly that Shri Mahayogi has experienced the deepest realms of the secret of asana, and it is to that very depth that he is leading us. If we look around and see how difficult it is to find anyone who has experienced and mastered asana to the level of depth as Shri Mahayogi and who then teaches it from that state, then we will start to understand how precious his teaching is!

The forms of the asana may very well look similar to the asana you can find anywhere, yet the content that lies at the heart of the asana is really not at all the same. The more we experience it, the more we will discover how fine-tuned his teaching is, down to subtlest detail, and how what he is giving us through this teaching is truly transformative. Even if we look at the course of history and the past records of asana teaching, has anyone really revealed asana to the extent that Shri Mahayogi is revealing it to us now?

Shri Mahayogi began to practice asana around the age of 14 without a teacher or book—the fact of the matter was that he did not even know these poses existed! But every night he would practice these positions for the following 16 years. In his case, since his body was incredibly flexible to begin with, he began practicing advanced looking asana right from the start. By doing that he discovered the secret of the breath in asana and what asana practice can offer in terms of realizing the true Self. He had already experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi (complete Awakening) spontaneously at the age 8, so he did not need to practice asana for himself—we can only presume that he went through the experience of practice for the people who would come to follow him later on. This can be said for meditation as well. He meditated constantly beginning from the time he was in high school, but of course, his meditation was quite unlike that of regular people. He meditated on time, space, and the functions of the mind; he found the law of karma through meditation (just like Buddha) and much more. By the time he encountered a translation of the Yoga Sutra in Japanese around the time he was 21, he recognized that he had already experienced in person everything that is written therein and as such, verified the contents of the Yoga Sutra to be true. Shri Mahayogi’s knowledge of the Yoga Sutra is completely different from the knowledge that comes from intellectual understanding, like that of someone who has studied the Sutra well or who is a scholar. He is rather a walking example of the Yoga Sutra, and all his wisdom comes from his very own experiences. What is greater than that!!! It is so humbling that here we have this unbelievable opportunity to learn from such a Master!!!

This past Sunday, again we are reminded that the content of the Asana and Meditation that Shri Mahayogi teaches from his own experience of the ultimate state of Yoga is truly beyond compare!

Here we would like to share how Shri Mahayogi taught at the end of the last class about Asana, Meditation, and their true purpose.

 

“Everybody is searching for something that is certain—peace. Where does it exist? It exists beyond the mind. The true Self is neither the mind nor the body, of course. The authoritative scripture, the Yoga Sutra, states thus: ‘Yoga is the restraint of the activities of the mind. At that time—meaning when the mind is restrained—the Seer remains in its own natural state. And in all other cases the Seer is as if it is assimilated with the activities of the mind.’ Indeed, that is to say, we constantly make the mind act in this world and it is disturbed all the time. But if we can still the mind, at that time the Seer, that is the true Self, will awaken by itself. This is the realization of the Truth that Yoga aims for. Asana are preparation for that. Of course, asana can prepare the body by making it healthy and comfortable too. But what is far more important than that is to change the breathing habits.

The mind and breath are closely connected. When the mind is content and happy, the breath is calm as well. But when the mind is agitated or upset, the breathing becomes so disturbed. Even so, it is very difficult to control the mind directly. It is said that to control the mind is like catching the wind. But how about water? If you can make a container, you can control it or catch at least some. The body is likened to ice. It means that all three of these—solid, liquid and steam—are H2O. (smiling)  So, first you catch the ice, that is the easier [of the three] to catch—and that is asana. By practicing it, you can control the breath little by little. If the breath is always steady, then the mind will never become disturbed. So then, through that peace of mind, you heighten the concentration [in meditation]. Of course, the aim of meditation is to realize the true Self. Well, just like that, this Truth is within everyone already, even now. Realize That swiftly.

So, then see you at the next opportunity.”

                                                                           —Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
                                                                                                                      February 3, 2019

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Currently New York is the ONLY location in the world where Shri Mahayogi is regularly offering to instruct Asana and Meditation! What a blessing we have to be in New York, a place where yoga asana can be found as the latest trend on almost every corner, yet we have the opportunity to receive the ancient teaching directly from a true Master of Yoga!!

SADHANA PROGRAM:
Join us each Sunday through March 3rd for the Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi—learn the practice of asana and meditation.

Register for the Sadhana Program through Eventbrite
http://mym2019.eventbrite.com

 

Satsangha will still be held Feb. 23rd, 3:00-4:30pm. Location TBA.

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com

Don’t miss these precious opportunities!!!

 

Echo From The Cave: 101

Friday February 9, 2019 NYC 

Krishna holding Govardhan Hill

Editor’s Note: Pranavadipa Volume 51 

To learn the Truth, one must first find a teacher who has mastered it, one who knows through every ounce of their being. Then one must become humble in order to learn, taking one step at a time to bring one’s mind and actions into alignment with that Truth.

This month’s issue of Pranavadipa (Vol. 51) features a Satsangha that took place in Taipei, Taiwan, in March 2018. In this particular Satsangha, Shri Mahayogi gives practical teaching on what it means to walk the path of Yoga versus the path of karma, the preciousness of life, as well as the preciousness of the opportunity we have before us in every moment to turn from the path of karma and choose the path of Yoga. And at the very end of the Satsangha, there is a special treat for the reader: Shri Mahayogi reveals how he came to understand the world of suffering through the experience of Yoga, rather than through the typical means of study or instruction!

The Testimony this month brings us many words of inspiration from our brother and sister gurubai in Matsuyama, Japan, and is an excellent demonstration of how practitioners humble themselves to listen and to learn how to put the teaching of Yoga into daily practice through the words and examples of others who are also walking and learning the path of Yoga. This is the benefit of sangha, one of the three treasures: Buddha, Dharma and Sanga. The Testimony consists of some excerpts of questions and answers from several Satsangha that were given in Matsuyama by a senior disciple of Shri Mahayogi, as well as the learning and application of that learning by two practitioners who regularly participate in the Yoga activities of Matsuyama. If we read closely and with an attitude of humbleness, we can find many examples of how we, too, can take simple and practical steps along the path to bring ourselves to align with the path of Truth!